In the 21st Century you can be a castellan, too. These DiY castles and castle-like buildings presented below were all built by just one person, though a few of them had a bit of help from their families or volunteers.
Bishop Castle, near Colorado City, Colorado
Construction began in 1969 as a one-man project by Jim Bishop.
Mystery Castle, near Phoenix, Arizona
This building was built by Boyce Luther Gulley in the 1930s and 40s for his daughter from a wide range of materials: telephone poles, stone, atuomobile parts, adobe and other junks, held together by a mix of goat's milk, sand, cement and calcium. The mystery is what motivated Gulley to abandon his job, wife and his baby daughter.
Shrek and Fiona Castle, Akimovka, Ukraine
The house area is about 3200 sq foot, (300 sq metres) and it has three halls, a bedroom and a giant kitchen. Unfortunately the towers are fake.
Bory Castle, Szekesfehervar, Hungary
It was built by the Hungarian architect and sculptor Jeno Bory with the help of his students between 1923 and 1959. The castle shows the signs of some architectural styles from Romanesque to Renessaince.
Solomon's Castle, Ona, Florida
The three-story-high castle was built from 1974 by the sculptor Howard Solomon. It's made from aluminium printing plates thrown out by a newspaper.
(via Sam Howzit/Flickr)
Gillette Castle, Hadlyme, Connecticut
It was designed by the famous American actor William Gillette. It's really a weird place with unusual doorknobs and a system of hidden mirrors.
Midlothian Castle, Burk's Falls, Ontario, Canada
Deigned and built by the Canadian secondary school teacher Peter Camani from the 1970s. There are more than a hundred screaming head sculptures and two-headed dragons. By the way, Camani is a really good painter; some of his works are in such places as the Buckingham Palace and the Vatican.
Le Palais Idéal ("The Ideal Palace"), Hauterives, France
A French postman, Ferdinand Cheval (1836-1924) spent more than 30 years of his life building The Ideal Palace from April 1879. One day he found a really interesting stone (left on the second picture) and was inspired by its shape, so for more than three decades he picked up stones for the castle during his daily work.
Robert Fiddler's Castle, near London
A farmer secretly built a Tudor-like castle between 1998 and 2002 without any permission, and hid it behind a 40-ft high wall of hay bales. The family moved in and lived there until 2006 when they revealed the building to everybody. Oh, and there were cannons, too!
(via Daily Mail)
Taródi Castle, near Sopron, Hungary
It's a fake medieval castle built by Stephen Taródi from 1959 to his death in 2010. But this was his second castle. He made the first (8 metres high) in 1945-1946 from wood on his parents' land, but 1951 moved it to a new place. In the late 50s he demolished the old castle and started the building of the new, bigger one. He lived in the tower from the 1970s.
Sutyagin House, Arkhangelsk, Russia
Maybe it's the world's tallest wooden house with 13 stories and a 44 m tall tower. Nikolai Petrovich Sutyagin and his family started the construction in 1992, and finished fifteen years later. In 2008 the city ordered it to be demolished because of fire hazard (wooden structures are limited by law to two stories). What a loss!
(via Nate Maas)